Our Story

For twenty-five years, the Hub City Writers Project’s mission has been cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent press, community bookshop, and diverse literary programming. 

In May 1995 a trio of writers in Spartanburg, SC, began to talk in a downtown coffee shop about how they could help preserve a sense of place in their rapidly changing Southern city. What their community needed, they said, was a literary identity. Modeling their organization after the Depression-era Federal Writers Project, they chose the name Hub City because it invoked Spartanburg's past as a 19th century railroad center and challenged them to make their hometown a center for literary arts.

The first book was Hub City Anthology, a place-based collection of personal essays and art about the experience of living local. From there, Hub City began publishing writers across South Carolina and, eventually, the American South. Along the way, Hub City became a nonprofit organization and a vigorous literary arts programmer, sponsoring an annual writers conference, summer camps, workshops, scholarships, residencies, and scores of readings each year.

When Spartanburg lost its independent bookstore, Hub City stepped in and led a renovation of the ground floor of the historic Masonic Temple as a new hub of books, coffee, and baked goods. The Hub City Bookshop became the nation’s first full-service bookshop operated by a non-profit organization. 

In 2020, our upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary, Hub City will publish its 100th book and will celebrate ten successful years of bookselling at the Hub City Bookshop. With a team of eleven dynamic staff members and a hard-working board of directors, Hub City has become one of the most substantial literary arts organizations in the nation.



History in Brief

1995: Hub City Writers Project founded
1996: Hub City Anthology released
1999: First year for Writing in Place summer conference
2000: First grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
2002: Received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in South Carolina. 
2006: Launched Writer in Residence program
2009: Press joins John F. Blair Distribution
2010: Hub City Bookshop opens 
2017: Press moves distribution Publishers Group West
2018: Bookshop named "One of the South's Best Bookshops" by Southern Living

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